Photo by Matt Harris.

A couple of years ago, a community garden in my Chicago neighborhood got the boot. A university owned the land, and even a determined grassroots campaign could not stop it (cue Joni Mitchell) from turning 140 bountiful plots into a parking lot. The eviction, and similar ones taking place nationwide, highlight one of the biggest challenges facing urban agriculture: a lack of land tenure.

The story of displaced urban gardens is nothing new. Remember L.A.’s doomed South Central Community Farm? Or Rudy Giuliani’s 1999 fatwa on community gardens?